Corn and Granaries

After the *dazzling man*, the chief captain of God On High, suddenly vanished, Asenath felt shaken. Had she dreamt him? She felt, though, he’d been too real to have been merely a dream. And that kiss. No dream could have contained the intensity of feeling it elicited in her.

The next day Asenath was visited by a young man, a servant of Joseph, who said, “Expect a visit today from Joseph, the mighty man of God and prime minister of Egypt.”

Asenath told her own servants to prepare a special dinner for that evening. She prepared herself for Joseph’s visit by putting on a robe that shone like lightning, that she secured around her waist with a girdle studded with precious stones. She put golden bracelets around her wrists, and golden boots on her feet, and a costly necklace around her neck, and she put a golden crown upon her head that she covered with a veil.

On being apprised that Joseph was at the gates, Asenath went down to greet him. Stepping out of his carriage, Joseph said to Asenath, “I’m overjoyed to see you. Are you overjoyed to see me too?”

“I suppose I am,” said Asenath, who couldn’t stop thinking about the dazzling man who had so recently visited her.

“You don’t sound enthusiastic. Anything the matter?”

“No, not at all. It’s just that……..well…….I’ll tell you another time. But, yes, of course, I’m happy to see you.”

Joseph made as if to kiss Asenath on the lips, but she offered him only her cheek.

“I assume” said Joseph, “you’ve by now heard that God On High has decreed that I take you to wife, and that His Majesty, the Pharoah, assents. Will you marry me, Asenath?”

“Do I have a choice?”

“Probably not, all things considered. Look, I’m not such a bad fellow. I’m handsome, you know I am, and I have lots of beautiful women offering themselves to me. But you’re the one I want. When I take you to wife, you’ll be the wife of the most powerful man in all of Egypt, apart from the Pharaoh of course.”

The upshot was an extravagant wedding, and Joseph and Asenath were now man and wife. They went to a special tent where they made love. Then Joseph said, “I’ve got to go now.”

“A bit sudden isn’t it?”

“You forget, Asenath, that I’m the de facto prime minister of Egypt. The seven lean years for not only Egypt, but the for the whole world, that were *predicted in my dreams*, are about to start. I have to ensure that all Egyptians get enough food to eat, and I have to travel the length and breadth of the land to check that conservation and distribution measures are going to plan. Please be assured, dear Asenath, that when I’m not thinking about corn and granaries and all of that, I’ll be thinking only of you. I hope you’ll be thinking only of me.”

“I’ll try,” said Asenath, who still couldn’t get the dazzling man out of her mind.

Sources:

Genesis 41, 45 – 57

Joseph and Asenath Chapters 18 to 21

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10 Responses to Corn and Granaries

  1. Richard says:

    I have compared your account with that in the Authorised Version and congratulate you on the continued authenticity of your translation. Your rendering, is, of course, far more palatable and, as a devout man yourself, you will be glad to know that you are renewing my belief in God.

    One thing that has always puzzled me, however, and I am sure you will be able to clear this up, is what steps Joseph took to preserve the grain for between seven and fourteen years. There must have been some pretty advanced technology about.

    Also, I note from v.49 that the corn was without number. Does this mean it didn’t have a sell-bydate, that in those days they didn’t have as many numbers as we have today and Joseph ran out of them, that he hadn’t learnt enough numbers, that he simply gave up counting the grains because he was lazy or that he felt uncomfortably close to the infinite and almighty? Or does it mean something else entirely?

    I thank you in anticipation for your assistance. My faith and my well-being depend upon it.

  2. Christopher says:

    Grain could be stored for many years in olden times, as this entry from from Wiki shows:

    ……The ancient Egyptians made a practice of preserving grain in years of plenty against years of scarcity. The climate of Egypt being very dry, grain could be stored in pits for a long time without sensible loss of quality. The silo pit, as it has been termed, has been a favorite way of storing grain from time immemorial in all oriental lands. In Turkey and Persia, usurers used to buy up wheat or barley when comparatively cheap, and store it in hidden pits against seasons of dearth. In Malta a relatively large stock of wheat was preserved in some hundreds of pits (silos) cut in the rock. A single silo stored from 60 to 80 tons of wheat, which, with proper precautions, kept in good condition for four years or more…….”

    As for corn without number, the New English Bible uses the phrase, “large quantities” instead of “without number”. One assumes these large quantities were large enough to feed all Egyptians then.

    Egypt of Joseph’s time may not have had the same stringent consumer protection laws, if it indeed had any, that we have today. So, food sold then probably didn’t show sell-by dates, the display of which is almost de rigueur in most supermarkets today, courtesy of our consumer protection laws.

    In the days of yore, before consumer protection laws were invented, buyers had to decide for themselves whether or not the food they acquired would kill them or not. It was like this when I grew up, come to think of it. It was strictly caveat emptor, and no-one thought the worse of it. They were tough in those days.

  3. Richard says:

    Again you allay those doubts and fears that beset me concerning my faith and expose an unfounded questioning on my part of the true word of God. Thank you, Christopher.

    Clearly, Almighty God disapproves of the nanny state.

  4. Christopher says:

    “…..Clearly, Almighty God disapproves of the nanny state…….”

    The God of the Old Testament, judging by the sanguinary orders he often gave out, would reasonably have been expected to be an advocate of tough love, and so against the nanny (socialist) state.

    But, what about His son Jesus, in whom God famously said he was well pleased? Jesus, after all, said it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven,

    Obviously, Jesus was advocating economic equality, which can only be brought about through the nanny (socialist) state.

    Jesus also said “……I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me….”.

    The “you”s, of whom Jesus spoke with approval, are today the care-givers in the service of a nanny (socialist) state.

    And Jesus said, “…..Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s….” – clearly implying that one should pay one’s fair share of taxes, and not evade them, which rich capitalists – sworn enemies of the nanny state – are wont to do. Taxes, after all, are instrumental in a socialist (nanny) state.

    Perhaps, though, Jesus was merely rebelling against his Father, tweaking his nose, so to speak. God may have understood this, and so said He was well pleased with His boy, although through gritted teeth.

  5. Richard says:

    In his injunction to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, Jesus was acknowledging the the principle of ownership and respect for it. Somebody must have been rich enough to own spare food, drink and clothes, the transport to get to hospital and the cigarettes to take to prison. Such people are indeed the carers in this world

    Likewise, when asked by a rich man what he should do to enter the kingdom of heaven, Jesus advised him to sell all he had and give it to the poor and follow him. There was no compulsion and the rich man declined the offer. Jesus was thus prompted to compare the prospects of the rich man getting to heaven and the likelihood of being able to thread a needle with a camel. He did not exclude either possibility. The rich man probably realised that all he needed was a big enough needle. By his efforts he would ensure that more people besides Jesus got food, drink and clothes and ultimately reached heaven as well. Jesus, being God, obviously knew all this.

    You’re testing me, aren’t you Christopher? I am deeply indebted (morally) to you.

  6. Christopher says:

    “…..By his efforts he [the rich man]would ensure that more people besides Jesus got food, drink and clothes………”

    This just could be the earliest instance of trickle-down economics.

  7. Richard says:

    You have enlightened me again! Always I had regarded this theory of trickle-down economics with considerable disgust as an excuse for complacency among the haves regarding the have-nots, but you have now revealed the truth in scripture.

    Instead you remind me of the parable of the talents and the need to invest in business. He who buried his one talent in the ground for fear of losing it was roundly condemned. There could not be a more vivid demonstration of the merits of free-market capitalism, entrepreneurism and risk-taking for the benefit and happiness of all.

    To him who hath it shall be given. From him who hath not it shall be taken away. Everyone should work hard if they can so that those who really can’t can be looked after. That is the way to spread goodness and happiness in a free world and eventually reach the kingdom of heaven.

    Bit by bit you eliminate my misgivings snd show socialism to be the enemy of freedom, good works, opportunity for all and the dignity of humanity.

  8. Richard says:

    And then, of course, there’s Noah’s flood and how individual foresight and careful preparation for the future despite the jeers and mockery of others who do nothing, save the world. This, surely, is the principle of cascade economics (parabolic, naturally).

  9. Richard says:

    And recall the anti-semiticism of medieval times, based upon the corrupt prejudice, born of the politics of envy, that the Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus.

    Despite the odds, Jews were able to accumulate and preserve wealth and this enabled them to bail out profligate monarchs who were ever on a spending spree, fighting wars and causing general mayhem.

    The history of those times repeats itself in the idolisation of the socialist state.

    You are an inspiration, sir.

  10. Christopher says:

    “…..You are an inspiration……..”

    My utterings always having been disdained, not to say ignored, by all, your words are a balm to my soul.

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